Telephone counseling of breast cancer patients after treatment: A description of a randomized clinical trial

Alfred C. Marcus*, Kathleen M. Garrett, David Cella, Lari B. Wenzel, Marianne J. Brady, Lori A. Crane, Maureen W. McClatchey, Brenda C. Kluhsman, Meredith Pate-Willig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The Telephone Counseling Trial for Breast Cancer Survivors is a randomized, controlled study designed to test the impact of a telephone- based counseling intervention on quality of life of early-stage breast cancer patients who have completed adjuvant treatment. A psychoeducational counseling model is utilized to promote adaptive coping to re-entry stressors and survivorship issues. Adaptation is fostered through the exploration of thematic materials, application of active coping strategies; encouragement of a personal expression of the breast cancer experience and the provision of psychological support. Patients are being recruited in collaboration with two NCI-designated clinical cooperative oncology groups: the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and the Southwest Cooperative Oncology Group (SWOG). The recruitment goal is 400 breast cancer survivors with Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 disease (with no greater than 10 positive lymph nodes involved). Patients are being enrolled by data managers on-site during their last treatment visit. The intervention is being delivered by the Cancer Information and Counseling Line (CICL) of the AMC Cancer Research Center. It includes 16 telephone outcalls which are delivered over a 12-month period. Primary outcome measures are quality of life, mood, social support, self- efficacy, and sexual functioning, assessed at baseline, 3, 6, 12 and 18 months follow-up. This article provides a description of the intervention protocol and study design. It is argued that this study could provide a model for developing and testing other psychosocial interventions within clinical cooperative groups nationwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-482
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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